Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease: The Protective Effects of Home Care Assistance
Today’s post highlights some powerful preventative measures you can take to offset your aging parent’s risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Read on to learn the top-5 modifiable risk factors, and how Always Best Care Madison’s home care assistance program supports these healthy habits.
Alzheimer’s Research Finds “Modifiable Risk Factors” For Disease Prevention
Though the National Institutes of Health (NIH) spent $1.9 billion on Alzheimer’s research in 2018, no cure has been found.
But we are starting to understand who is at risk. It is estimated that up to half of the cases of Alzheimer’s disease worldwide may be the result of the following modifiable risk factors:
- Diabetes. Non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) has been associated with a number of physiological consequences including neuropathy, retinopathy and incidence of vascular disease (Messier, 2003). Research has shown that those who have NIDDM, more commonly referred to as type-2 diabetes, are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease. As such, it’s important for seniors to observe healthy habits for diabetes prevention.
- High blood pressure. Madison, Wisconsin seniors living with high blood pressure are at significantly higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia, according to research by the Archives of Neurology (Kivipelto et al., 2005). Fortunately, blood pressure can be managed through proper diet, adequate levels of aerobic exercise, and medication.
- Smoking. A 2010 study by the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease examined the risks of smoking after controlling for study design, quality, secular trend, and tobacco industry affiliation of the authors (Cataldo et al., 2010). Their meta-analysis showed that smoking increased the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by up to 45%. But good news: ex-smokers could still reduce their risk by quitting.
- Depression. People with histories of depression or who develop depression later in life may be at higher risk of dementia, though the details of this relationship remain unclear. Some believe that dementia may be a risk factor, while others posit that dementia is actually an early symptom. Nevertheless, steps should be taken to fight depression, which is often related to social isolation and feelings of loneliness for seniors living at home.
- Cognitive inactivity. Research has shown that cognitive rehabilitation and cognitive training can ameliorate symptoms of early-stage Alzheimer’s disease (Clare & Woods, 2003). It’s like that old saying: use it or lose it.
- Obesity/physical inactivity. Both obesity and lack of physical activity put seniors at risk of diabetes and high blood pressure, which makes healthy diet and exercise habits an essential part of your Alzheimer’s prevention toolkit.
Promoting Alzheimer’s Prevention With Home Care Assistance in Madison, Wisconsin
Always Best Care Madison’s home care assistance program supports your aging parents’ mental health and cognitive function in many ways. In fact, we promote healthy habits that address all 5 of the aforementioned modifiable risk factors. Our home care assistance plans include:
- Effortless healthy eating. Our home care assistance staff can shop for healthy foods, plan and prepare meals, monitor your loved one’s food intake, and clean up afterwards. In this way, your loved one gets full diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure protection without any effort.
- Help kicking unhealthy habits. Quitting smoking can be tough, but our home care assistance team will provide ongoing support and encouragement, in addition to keeping your loved one occupied with games and conversation when cravings start to kick in. We can also monitor their smoking to enhance communication with health professionals and encourage adherence to quitting plans.
- Exercise encouragement. If your loved one struggles to find the motivation to exercise on their own, or is limited by mobility issues, chronic pain, or disabilities, our home care assistance team can help. We will find gentle, enjoyable forms of exercise that your aging parents loves, whether that’s light gardening, walks through nature, or a few hours at the community dance. In this way, your loved one’s safety and comfort are guaranteed, while they receive all the brain-boosting benefits of exercise.
- Eliminate the risks of social isolation and depression. Our companionship services ensure that your loved one never has to experience the pain of loneliness. Instead, enjoy some stimulating conversation, fun outings, or spirited game time with our team.
Book a Home Care Assistance Consultation in Madison, Wisconsin
Always Best Care Madison provides top-tier home care assistance in Madison and the surrounding areas. Call 608-315-2378 to start your free consultation with our team, or book online at https://www.alwaysbestcare.com/wi/madison/care-services/in-home-care/.
Cataldo, J. K., Prochaska, J. J., & Glantz, S. A. (2010). Cigarette smoking is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s Disease: An analysis controlling for tobacco industry affiliation. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 19(2), 465-480.
Clare, L., & Woods, B. (2003). Cognitive rehabilitation and cognitive training for early‐stage Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. Cochrane database of systematic reviews, (4).
Kivipelto, M., Ngandu, T., Fratiglioni, L., Viitanen, M., Kåreholt, I., Winblad, B., & Nissinen, A. (2005). Obesity and vascular risk factors at midlife and the risk of dementia and Alzheimer disease. Archives of Neurology, 62(10), 1556-1560.
Messier, C. (2003). Diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and apolipoprotein genotype. Experimental Gerontology, 38(9), 941-946.